Used test: Audi Q7 vs Land Rover Discovery vs Volvo XC90: interiors

Three tremendous luxury SUVs that can be bought used for a fraction of their new price. But which one should be gracing your driveway? We have the answer...

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

What are they like inside?

Good news: whether you’re a beefy farmer or a svelte socialite, all of these cars spoil you for comfort and space. You’ll find loads of head and leg room in the front, while dialling in an ideal driving position is easy, thanks to standard electrically operated seats (with lumbar adjustment) and steering wheels that adjust for reach and height (motorised on the Discovery).

In fact, separating them is more down to personal preference than any obvious deficiencies. With the loftiest driving position, the Discovery will no doubt hit the spot with most SUV buyers, but the XC90’s sports seats are the most comfortable and supportive in corners. The Q7 has the best dashboard layout, mainly due to the functionality of its infotainment.

Audi Q7 Audi’s MMI system is operated via a rotary dial controller by the gear selector, but you can also make inputs using a touchpad. This, along with its responsive, intuitive menus – viewed on a pop-up 8.3in screen – makes it the least distracting to use on the move. Sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and an embedded 4G data connection are standard, as is a 10-speaker sound system. Later models replaced this with a less useful touchscreen-only affair. 

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

Land Rover Discovery HSE trim comes with the top-spec InControl Touch Pro system and a 10.0in touchscreen. Mostly it works well enough, but there’s a distinct lag after some inputs and hitting the icons on the move can be difficult. Rather than mirroring your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the Discovery has its own system of connectivity and apps and includes a wi-fi hotspot. The stereo has the most power and sounds the clearest.

Volvo XC90 Volvo’s 9.0in touchscreen is arranged like a tablet and controls most of the car’s features, including the climate control; we’d prefer easier-to-use physical buttons for this. It’s packed with features, including sat-nav, Bluetooth and a DAB radio. The screen is an extremely high-definition one that’s quick to respond, but the bewildering array of menus and numerous small icons can prove distracting while driving.

All three are suitably swanky inside. The XC90 oozes minimalist cool and its varied materials combine agreeably. Apart from a few iffy-looking textures, the Discovery’s interior is smart and feels solid, plus it’s the only one with standard full-leather seats. The Q7, meanwhile, radiates a sense of quality that neither of its rivals can match; its mix of exquisitely engineered switches and granitelike construction is unrivalled.

New Land Rover Discovery vs Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

In the second row, all three cars feature sliding and reclining seats (electrically adjusted and heated in the Discovery) and plenty of head room, but the Q7 offers the most leg room, followed closely by the XC90. If you’re tall, you might find leg room a little disappointing in the Discovery. While they all seat three abreast easily, the XC90’s middle perch is the least agreeable.

Both the Discovery and Q7 have powered third-row seating, while the XC90’s rearmost seats need to be lifted and stowed manually. Sitting in them reveals that the Discovery’s offer easily the most room for adults. The other two are broadly on a par; taller folk won’t fancy sitting there on long trips.

With all seven seats in use, both the XC90 and Q7 retain usable boots big enough for a few shopping bags, while the Discovery has barely any space left over for luggage. Configured as five-seaters, though, all have huge boots that will easily swallow several large suitcases, while folding all the rear seats delivers the carrying capacity of a small van. In the Discovery, an optional feature from new called Intelligent Seat Fold (£415 then) allowed you to electrically fold all five rear seats down by pressing buttons in the boot or even by using the main touchscreen or a phone app.

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